HC Deb 30 October 1957 vol 575 c193
11. Mr. Russell

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what steps are being taken to make the mechanism of traffic lights respond more quickly to approaching traffic, especially at night when the volume of traffic is very light, and so avoid both unnecessary delay and wear and tear on engines and brakes of road vehicles.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

The majority of light signals are now vehicle-actuated. To make the mechanism respond more rapidly at times of light traffic would increase the risk of accident.

Mr. Russell

Can my hon. Friend say how this would increase the risk of accident? If a light remains red in one direction for a longer time and only changes when traffic approaches it, surely it means that there is nothing coming in the other direction. How can that affect the risk of accidents?

Mr. Nugent

There is a certain danger in the speed with which vehicles approach the red signal in anticipation that it may change to green by the time they get there. To shorten the interval in the present phasing might very well lead to a greater accident risk.